When you’re the coach of an 0-3 team everything you open every decision up to question. Such it is that a decision Mike Tomlin made long before the specter of a Maurkice Pounceyless offensive line loomed will certainly come back to haunt him should the Steelers drop their game to the Vikings.
- NFL teams playing in London typically leave early in the week to allow players a chance to adjust to the time zone.
Mike Tomlin is taking the early track, arriving a little over 48 hours before the game.
- Its almost as if he’s following Chuck Noll’s philosophy for playing in the thin air of Denver – get in and get out as quickly as you can.
Traveling to London can be an ordeal. On my lone trip, I arrived early in the morning and could not stay awake, despite warnings not to let myself sleep.
Later that night I feel asleep without any difficulty, only to wake up at 3:00 am completely unable to fall back asleep. It took a full 3-4 days to adjust to reality.
The 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t exactly been a model of focus thus far, turning the ball over with startling generosity while declining opposing offense’s offers to reciprocate.
It says here that:
- Ben Roethlisberger didn’t need jet lag to go 1-6 since his injury vs. Kansas City
- Felix Jones and Isaac Redman didn’t need time zone shock to fumble
- Driving on the left side of the road didn’t cause Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams ineptitude
- Having to “ring” someone instead of “calling” hasn’t forced Ike Taylor, Troy Polamalu, Cameron Heyward, William Gay, Brett Keisel, Jason Worilds and Lawrence Timmons notch 11 passes defensed and zero interceptions.
But who knows?
Perhaps going to London is just what the Steelers need. Perhaps going completely out of their comfort zone will do the team good. But if the Steelers return from London 0-4, you can bet the “They should have traveled sooner” complaints will start in earnest.